Did Dogs Develop Eyebrows To Communicate Better With Humans?

posted by Shotaro Nabeya   01/12/2020

According to a study published by the National Academy of Sciences, puppy dog eyes are not natural expressions but a product of evolution.

A team of researchers led by psychologist Juliane Kaminski, discovered that domestication has actually shifted the anatomy of dogs’ eyebrow muscles to help them communicate better with humans meaning their puppy dog eyes were a product of evolution.

This study aimed to explore dogs’ facial muscles and compare them to their ancestors, wolves. The team examined the facial muscles of 6 different breeds of dogs, a Mongrel, Labrador, Bloodhound, Siberian husky, Chihuahua, and a German Shepard as well as four wolves.

They were able to find out that the only difference the two species had was the levator anguli oculi medialis, the facial muscle responsible for controlling the inner eyebrow. “This movement makes a dogs’ eye appear larger, giving them a childlike appearance. It could also mimic the facial movement humans make when they’re sad.” Said Professor Bridget Waller, from the University of Portsmouth. “Our findings show how important faces can be in capturing our attention, and how powerful facial expression can be in social interactions.”

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